At the beginning of the year, I outlined what my Frugal Goals for the year were going to be. Two of them included spending less money on the "little" things as well as spend less money on eating out. I resolved that I would switch to a cash-only system for these two items, so I could easily limit the spending.
So, how is it going so far?
It was going great until the second to last day of the month. Some moms from my 5 year old's class invited us to meet them at McDonalds to play. Sounds great...but I had already spent all my cash for the month. I was going to decline the invitation, but my husband offered to pull some more money. If it wasn't for this blog, I probably wouldn't have thought too much about it, but I do want to be truthful and accountable. However, I have deducted the amount that I spent from February's cash, and will adjust February's spending down accordingly. I did learn that I should try to save some money for the end of the month, just in case something like that comes up again.
Other Lessons Learned
- I need to have an additional amount of cash set aside for practical items like washing the salt off our cars and other things that you have to pay cash for that I was reluctant to use from my budget.
- Cash burns a hole in my husband's pocket. Since I was getting an allowance, it was only fair that my husband get one too. However, he quickly burned through his in less than half the month (his was much smaller than mine, because mine included the boys too). I believe he spent much more than he did when we used our credit cards for most everything (paid off each month, of course). So, I'm going to hold parts of his money to allocate throughout the month (with his agreement, of course).
I thought we did pretty well, though. I think that knowing exactly how much I had left helped me to make the choices as to what to purchase and when. I look forward to seeing how it goes this month.
Have you tried doing cash only for a budget item? Do you have any tips to help me? For more frugal ideas visit Being Frugal.
We also do the cash system at our house. We do a relatively good job but I have to admit sometimes the end of the month gets pretty tight for us too and sometimes I find myself wanting to pull from other envelopes. We did increase our entertainment fund by $30 so I am hoping that helps since that is where we always run short. It sounds like you have done really well though so far! If it makes you more aware of what you are spending then that is the key!
Using cash only is the best system we've ever used to save money. I tend to be a whole lot more careful when I know I'm paying with cash vs. the debit card.
Thanks for sharing this - we've been considering the same approach. In fact, my husband and I both agreed to an allowance for this month.
In a funny way, we've been having the *opposite* problem. I feel like we've gotten so used to cutting back that we forget to indulge sometimes. I think that seeing the cash in our pockets might help us remember that we HAVE budgeted for a few indulgences every month. Because my biggest worry is that we'll get good at cutting our grocery bill and brown-bagging our lunch, then destroy all our hard work in a few I-can't-take-deprivation-anymore splurges.
Our family started using cash last month for groceries/gas/resturants, etc. I decided to use money from our gas envelope to wash the car. Also, I have 3 little ones and didn't allocate any fun $ for them, so anything for them came out of my money. Good idea on taking extra money for the mom to use for the kids.
Keep up the good work!
The hubby and I both have a daily "allowence" that we get every night. (Im a server so it comes from cash tips) The rest goes into the bank. I got a large cherry jar from work and every night we empty our pockets into the jar. It seems to be working! Actually seeing the money we are not spending helps us want to do better. We started this in December and have over 300 in the jar so far! This money is going to the vacation fund and I cant wait!
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